Arts History Update for just before mid October 2013

1 Oct

Arts History Update for just before mid October 2013 by David Cummins


Granville W. Carter, West Texas Pioneer Family (1971) at 13th Street and Avenue Q in Lubbock is a bronze statuary. Jack Payne, first president of American State Bank, wanted to honor pioneer families with this statuary. It was stated as a tribute to those who settled in West Texas between 1890 and 1910. It is on the bank’s immaculately cared for grounds. American State was taken over by Prosperity Bank in 2012.


In the father’s hand is a hoe, in the mother’s a Bible, and in the boy’s a rope.




A really old and remarkably fresh courthouse is Presidio County Courthouse in Marfa Texas erected in1886 to a design by Alfred Giles, San Antonio architect. It is a Second Empire style building and was recently renovated. I visited this courthouse last year and it is stunning.




University Medical Center UMC opened the J.T. and Margaret Talkington Supportive Care Unit that is a palliative care unit for terminal patients. It is located on the third floor of West Tower at UMC. For further information phone Eric Finley 806-775-8644. Tommie Farrell, M.D. palliative care physician is the director of the Unit.




Kenneth D. Pirtle, Sentinel of the Canyon (2009) is a mosaic of ¾ inch glass tiles installed at Amarillo Botanical Gardens, an $18,000 commission. Pirtle is a Texas Tech University 1971 graduate who became department chair of visual studies at Amarillo College.


Here is a painted mural in Silverton Texas of that same Canyon and some murals in town of places of business that once were bustling. The Briscoe County Jail, built of stone in the 19th century, is now Old Jail Museum in Silverton. Silverton is southeast of Lake Mackenzie reservoir [on Tule Creek] named for Ranald Mackenzie US Army who led the troops that ended the Comanche domination in the area in 1875. Traveling farther east into the Canyon one reaches the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River, entering the lost domain of the Comanche.




Walter De Maria, The Lightning Field (1977) is a permanent art installation in western central New Mexico owned and operated by Dia Art Foundation. It consists of 400 polished stainless steel poles twenty feet high composing a horizontal plane on a plain.


It is not far from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array that is a radio astronomy laboratory and some folks have confused science and art. Very Large Array tours are available on the first Saturday of each month It is 50 miles west of Socorro New Mexico on US Highway 60 then south on NM Highway 52.


The Lightning Field is a 45 minute drive by Dia Foundation staff from Quemado New Mexico which is reached by traveling west on Interstate Highway 40 from Albuquerque 70 miles, then south on NM Highway 117 another 78 miles to Quemado. An overnight stay for up to ten people is possible by pre-arrangement with Dia Art Foundation. Quemado is about twenty miles from the Arizona border.


Patrick Marold, The Windmill Project (2007) in Gore Valley, Vail, Colorado is at the base of a mountain and consists of 1,000 minimal power generating slender contemporary windmills, each about eight feet tall. Each is wired to transmit generated power to a light on the pole. The light and windmill display is particularly stimulating at dusk when the structures are still visible but light patterns are already interacting with the waning natural light and the windmill poles sway in the wind. The illusion of an unstable mass mystifies the viewer.


Confusing art and science is expected when science creates, for an entirely different reason, a project in nature that has high aesthetic value. Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California’s Mohave Desert close to the Nevada border, will be fully launched this Fall. As we look at the desert expanse we see thousands of heliostat structures that do not collect solar heat but act like a mirror in deflecting it toward a target, one of many [in this case three] high platform boilers whose water is heated rapidly and its steam turns the turbine generators of electricity. 140,000 California homes will have their power supplied by this project. Large scale solar collection thermal energy is now cost efficient and of course reduces the fossil fuels energy source problems that have caused global climate change. If you watch the thirteen photos in this light-box you can begin to see a land art installation that carries high aesthetic values.


Did you realize this was possible? Germans understood it first and if you travel through that country you will see many hillsides covered with solar panels and inside towns and villages you will see many roofs covered with solar panels far in excess of energy needs for folks working or living within that structure. The transforming vehicle is the German law that requires power companies to purchase off-grid supplied power at rates that return a profit to investors who create companies to rent the roofs of Germans and install solar collectors and then install a short supply connection to the power companies’ lines connected to electricity storage facilities. These same investors rent hillsides from German farmers and other landowners. German power companies cried foul but German legislators saw a better future for everybody and went ahead. Now even the power companies are happy. Would that we had forward-thinking legislators in Austin and Washington DC.


Ivanpah California is close to Interstate Highway 15 and about 40 miles from Las Vegas Nevada. Not far to the west of Ivanpah is Fort Irwin US Army National Training Center. Back in the day ….. FDR established Mojave Anti-Aircraft Range here in 1940 and in 1942 it became Camp Irwin. In 1951 during the Korean War it became Camp Irwin Armored Combat Training Area. A decade later it became Fort Irwin and in 1981 it became Fort Irwin National Training Center. Many troops

in recent years came to this desert post for training prior to deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.


Yes, Mohave and Mojave are spelled in its two different iterations. Probably Mohave is closer to the Indian tribe’s etymology but even that’s debatable. Take your choice.




When in Greece I toured the Acropolis and its focal point, the Parthenon, noting its small interior due to limitations on structural support for post and lintel building standards of the day. Translation: there are two interior walls of columns that shrink the interior space of the Parthenon outer shell. What strikes the visitor is the absence of the statue of Athena, patron goddess of Athens. The entire purpose of the Parthenon was to contain that statue and for the people of Athens to approach her likeness and make propitiation.

A road trip to Nashville Tennessee and Centennial Park can rectify that. Alan LeQuire, Athena Parthenos (2002) is forty-two feet high gypsum cement gilded with gold paint. The commission for the piece was $180,000. LeQuire is equally well known for his Tennessee Women’s Suffrage Memorial (2006) in Knoxville


Andy Wilkinson, Quanah Parker: The Road Man (2013) original play premiers at Buffalo Gap Village south of Abilene Texas on October 5 but the playwright muses about staging it soon at either The Underwood Center for the Arts or Cactus Theater in Lubbock. He has two previous plays Charlie Goodnight’s Last Night and My Cowboy’s Gift The setting for the one man play is Quanah Parker’s Star House at Cache Oklahoma in 1892, the historical setting for a series of photographs made of Parker there. Michael Horse, actor, plays Parker. The themes within the play and the photographs that are used, depict Parker’s role as son of a white woman, Parker’s role as US Army designated Chief of all southern Comanche, and Parker’s role as founder of the Native American Church.




Sign up day for Affordable Health Care Act health insurance begins October 1 for coverage to begin January 1, 2014. In Summer 2012 the United States Supreme Court ruled that states’ participation in the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid to people with income up to 138% of the fixed poverty level [$15,856 for an individual and $32,499 for a family of four] was optional. 25 states and Washington DC are expanding and 25 states including Texas are not expanding [or haven’t made a decision which is equivalent to not expanding]. Texas, a populous state, is first in the nation in the most children and single parents without health insurance. By deciding not to expand, Texas assures that it will remain in first place. One quarter of all Texas children are without health insurance and some of the illnesses and disabilities they suffer without treatment will stay with them for a lifetime. This is a cruel sentence imposed by politicians on vulnerable children. To underscore Texas politicians’ commitment against health care for poor people, Texas withdrew from the Federal Medicaid program and created its own state-wide Medicaid program with lesser enrollments and coverages and lesser pay scales for providers of health care services. Here is the website Ninety percent of those bills are paid to the State Medicaid office by the federal government and that will continue until the federal government is in a position to set up and run its own federal Medicaid program in Texas, probably four years down the road if ever. In the meantime Texas politicians have assured us that whatever happens in other states, Texas poor people will not be insured or receive the national standard of health care either pre-2014 or post-2013.


National polls tell us 70% of the public want Medicaid expansion. Presumably an even higher number would reject the Texas reduction of Medicaid coverage. In a democracy we expect politicians to follow the wishes of an overwhelming percentage of the public that is the electorate.


The Texas Medicaid pay scales for providers of health care services have caused many private providers to drop out of the program and not offer their services. Institutions like UMC and Tech Tech Physicians [public providers] and Covenant Health System [a private provider] have continued in the Texas Medicaid system but have loudly protested the lower pay scales and made it clear that if the payments are deferred or not made at all, they will withdraw their services. It’s only a matter of time before Texas Medicaid doesn’t pay its bills and providers withdraw in droves. The system is set up by politicians to fail, and it will. Three years ago, when the state treasury was strapped, bills weren’t paid and that cycle will return.


By Tuesday October 1 employers must issue employees a Notice to Employees of Coverage Options and employers who plan to cover employees must provide a Summary of Benefits Coverage. Employees should start a dialogue with their employers about this topic and not wait until December for last minute arrangements. Some employer provided plans may include a monetary sum to assist employees in shopping in marketplace exchanges for coverage.


People who already have health insurance should consult with their company and may wish to continue coverage. Low income insureds should learn about how to apply for a federal government subsidy toward partial payment of premiums. Confused perplexed or uncertain citizens should consult with a health insurance broker such as Sanford & Tatum Insurance Agency 6303 Indiana Avenue Lubbock 79413 phone 806-792-5564 or a person trained under the Affordable Care Act such as those at:

  1. La Paloma Aging and Disability Resource Center 4010 22nd Street Lubbock 79410 phone 806-740-1500
  2. Community Health Center of Lubbock 1318 Broadway Street Lubbock 79401 phone 806-765-2611 or
  3. Larry Combest Community Health and Wellness Center 301 40th Street Lubbock 79404 phone 806-743-9355

Here again, don’t wait until December for last minute arrangements.




Fall arrived and Floydada is the Pumpkin Capital of Texas. What are you ingesting?


  1. Pumpkin beer [ales and lagers]
  2. Pumpkin spice chocolates
  3. Pumpkin spice coffee
  4. Pumpkin bread
  5. Pumpkin waffles and pancakes
  6. Pumpkin milkshakes and malts
  7. Pumpkin smoothie
  8. Pumpkin macaroons, and other cookies
  9. Pumpkin ice cream
  10. Pumpkin cream cheese
  11. Pumpkin potato chips
  12. Pumpkin pie yogurt
  13. Pumpkin buttery spread
  14. Pumpkin donuts
  15. Pumpkin cheesecake
  16. Pumpkin pie – rent a grandmother if you don’t have one nearby, her pie is the best















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